PostProcess Technologies Inc., a global provider of automated and intelligent post-printing solutions for industrial 3D printing, announced it will launch a new automated polymer powder removal solution based on its full-stack approach. This patent-pending solution is for the gross depowdering (decaking) of selective laser sintering (SLS) and multi-jet fusion (MJF) 3D printed parts.
Currently, the gross depowdering process for 3D printed polymer parts is encumbered with excessive labor and part breakage. Common processing methods are manual or semi-automated, using vacuums or blasting high-pressure air for removing powder. Such approaches are not well-suited to the unique and complex geometries for which additive is used, nor capable of enabling production volumes. The opportunity to scale with these traditional depowdering methods is limited as they are unable to support end-to-end digitalization by providing closed-loop feedback for the complete additive manufacturing workflow. Additionally, these methods can expose operators to loose powder, resulting in workplace safety hazards and airborne particle exposure.
PostProcess’s newest technology family, Variable Acoustic Displacement (VAD), uses its AUTOMAT3D software platform to optimize mechanical energy combined with intelligent closed-loop thermal and displacement techniques to reduce cycle times while increasing part fidelity. The process is thermodynamically controlled with both video and infrared monitoring while releasing, transferring, and recovering loose powder particles in a hands-free manner. Software-tuned frequencies identify geometries while sound (pressure) waves function as a non-destructive mechanical energy source to de-cake powder. These functions are automatically monitored and adjusted in real-time in a closed-loop solution that repurposes powder for optimal sustainability.
The VAD solution also suits production scale through the integration with PostProcess’s CONNECT3D software. The CONNECT3D platform, currently in beta, allows users to operate and monitor their fleet of PostProcess solutions from anywhere, optimizing finishing per part design and enabling real-time planning and decision-making. VAD complements PostProcess’s existing portfolio of software-driven solutions for resin removal, support removal, and surface finishing across a range of 3D print technologies, both polymer, and metal.